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  Labor Situation - State of Connecticut Last Updated: March 26, 2015
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current Connecticut Labor Situation - February 2015 PDF

Connecticut Nonfarm Employment...see more Unemployment Rates...see more New UI Claims...see more Consumer Price Index...see more

Unemployment rate ticks up as jobs decline in record February cold spell
WETHERSFIELD, March 26, 2015 - Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) preliminary monthly survey of businesses and governments, Connecticut lost 3,700 nonfarm jobs in February 2015 - seasonally adjusted. Since February 2014, however, Connecticut’s nonfarm employment has increased by 25,800 positions or 1.56% (2,150 jobs per month average) to 1,681,900 jobs. February 2015 was officially the coldest month ever recorded for average temperatures in the state and this noticeably influenced the monthly employment decline. January’s initially reported job increase of 6,400 (0.38%) was enhanced by 1,100 positions to a 7,500 (0.45%) gain before February’s frigid weather set in.

The unemployment rate in Connecticut was slightly higher in February 2015 at 6.4%, seasonally adjusted, up a tenth of a percentage point from January, according to the latest federal residential/household survey (Current Population Survey). This is down by six-tenths of a percentage point from the February 2014 unemployment rate of 7.0%. Over the year, the number of unemployed in the state has fallen by 9,583 (-7.3%) to 121,983, but did increased marginally this month (1,744). The state’s labor force continued to grow last month (5,368) despite the cold for the seventeenth month in a row and has increased by 32,203 workers on an annual basis (1.7%).

“Connecticut’s record cold February temperatures and stormy weather appears to have affected industry employment, hours worked, and some unemployment claims activity last month,” said Andy Condon, Director of the Office of Research. “Nevertheless, the state’s labor force weathered the cold and continues to expand, bringing out more jobseekers.”

Nonfarm Jobs: Preliminary nonfarm employment estimates for February show Connecticut lost 3,700 (-0.22%, seasonally adjusted) jobs. Six of the ten major industry supersectors were lower in employment in February, while three posted job gains, and the other services supersector was unchanged. Connecticut over-the-year job gains now total 25,800 (1.56%, 2,150 per month) with eight industry supersectors displaying positive job growth, and just two having declined. The current February nonfarm employment level of 1,681,900, virtually matches the latest three-month moving average.

Recession Recovery: Connecticut has now recovered 87,900 positions, or 73.9% of the now 119,000 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state during the March 2008 - February 2010 employment recession (post-benchmark). Connecticut’s jobs recovery is now 60 months old (5 years) and is averaging 1,465 jobs per month since February 2010. The private sector has recovered employment at faster pace and has now recovered 94,700 (84.9%) of the 111,600 private sector jobs that were lost during the same recessionary downturn (a pace of about 1,578 per month). At 1,681,900 overall nonfarm jobs for February 2015, the state needs to reach the 1,713,000 level to start a true nonfarm employment expansion. This will require an additional 31,100 nonfarm jobs. A total of just 16,900 additional private sector positions are needed to have a fully-recovered private sector. The government supersector has continued to lose even more jobs (-6,800) throughout the nonfarm employment recovery period, prolonging the recovery.

Labor Market Areas (LMAs): It should be noted that due to town composition changes of greater than 4% in two of the six BLS-recognized LMAs that went into effect at the beginning of this year, the Danbury and Waterbury LMAs are no longer seasonally adjusted by BLS. The February 2015 preliminary nonfarm job numbers indicate that only two of the four major Connecticut Labor Market Areas that are officially seasonally adjusted posted job gains. The New Haven LMA (700, 0.2%) and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk LMA (300, 0.1%) posted small monthly job gains, while the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford LMA (-800, 0.1%) and the Norwich-New London-Westerly LMA (-500, -0.4%) were down in employment in February. Over-the-year, five of the six of the major Connecticut BLS-recognized LMAs are now positive, as are the three smaller state-estimated LMAs, with just the Norwich-New London-Westerly LMA (-400, -0.3%, seasonally adjusted) lower now since February 2014. Note: The six major Connecticut LMAs are estimated and seasonally adjusted independently (only the largest 4 LMAs are seasonally adjusted) from the statewide numbers by the BLS and cover over 90% of the nonfarm employment in the state; they will not fully sum to the statewide total.

Hours and Earnings: The private sector workweek, not seasonally adjusted, averaged 33.3 hours in February 2015, and is higher by 30 minutes (1.5%) from the year-ago estimate of 32.8 hours.  Average hourly earnings at $28.99, not seasonally adjusted, were up 59 cents, or 2.1%, from the February 2014 estimate.  The resultant average private sector weekly pay was calculated at $965.37, up $33.85, or 3.6% over the year.  The year-to-year change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U, U.S. City Average, not seasonally adjusted) in February 2015 was exactly 0.0%, unchanged.  Information for the manufacturing production workweek and earnings can be found in the table section of this release under the “Hours and Earnings” data category.  Current all-employee private sector hours and earnings estimates can be volatile due to fluctuating sample responses.

In February private sector declined by 3,500 jobs (-0.24%), and yet Connecticut private sector firms have still increased employment by a solid 24,500 (1.73%) positions since February 2014. Government supersector job gains have been smaller over-the-year (1,300, 0.55%, employment on federally-recognized Indian reservations including casinos is calculated in local government).  Monthly government job levels were lower in February 2015 (-200, -0.08%) as well. 

Just three of the ten major industry supersectors saw increases in February.  Job growth was led by Trade, Transportation & Uutilities (1,300, 0.4%).  Retail trade (1,800, 1.0%) bounced back this month after large decline in January while wholesale trade was unchanged and transportation and utilities (-500, -0.9%) was lower.  Smaller job gains of just 200 each were seen in the Information (200, 0.6%) and Manufacturing (200, 0.1%) supersectors.

Education and Health Services (-1,800, -0.5%) was the largest of the declining supersectors.  It still remains the fastest growing industry supersector (8,600, 2.7%) over the year. Professional and Business Services (-1,500, -0.7%) also saw a sizable loss in February.  Some of the employment decline last month came from industries that are typically susceptible to cold and stormy weather like Leisure and Hospitality (-900, -0.6%) and the combined Construction and Mining (-800, -1.4%) supersectors.  Restaurants and drinking places were sluggish in leisure and hospitality while specialty trades employment declines held back construction and mining.  The Financial Activities (-200, -0.2%) and the Government (-200, -0.1%) supersectors posted 200 job losses each last month.  The Other Services supersector was unchanged in February.

Last February 2014 - during the so-called polar vortex, Connecticut’s total nonfarm employment experienced a seasonally-adjusted job loss of -3,800 (-0.23%, benchmarked), and in February 2013, the year of the 40-inch blizzard in the state, the nonfarm job loss was similar at -3,500 (-0.21%, benchmarked).  This year’s February 2015 job loss, during the coldest ever month in the state, was estimated at -3,700 (-0.22%) and brought a string of seven statewide monthly nonfarm job gains in a row to an end.

Labor Market Information - Connecticut, Employment Sectors & United States Nonfarm Employment
Year to Year Month to Month Previous Three Months
Feb 2015 Feb 2014 Change Rate % Feb 2015 Jan 2015 Change Rate % Dec 2014 Nov 2014 Oct 2014
Graph Follow link below for more charts & data State of Connecticut Employment
go to Connecticut nonfarm employment data table Connecticut Nonfarm Employment 1,681,900 1,656,100 25,800 1.6% 1,681,900 1,685,600 -3,700 -0.2% 1,678,100 1,672,900 1,670,000
go to Private Sector sector data table Private Sector 1,443,500 1,419,000 24,500 1.7% 1,443,500 1,447,000 -3,500 -0.2% 1,440,400 1,435,500 1,432,700
Graph Follow link below for more charts & data Goods Producing Industries
Mining 600 500 100 20.0% 600 600 0 0.0% 600 600 600
go to Construction sector data table Construction 55,000 54,100 900 1.7% 55,000 55,800 -800 -1.4% 54,900 55,700 56,200
go to Manufacturing sector data table Manufacturing 159,200 160,800 -1,600 -1.0% 159,200 159,000 200 0.1% 159,700 158,500 158,800
Graph Follow link below for more charts & data Service Providing Industries
go to Transportation and Public Utilities sector data table Transportation and Public Utilities 303,100 299,600 3,500 1.2% 303,100 301,800 1,300 0.4% 304,100 303,700 302,000
go to Information sector data table Information 31,600 31,900 -300 -0.9% 31,600 31,400 200 0.6% 31,400 31,200 31,500
go to Financial Activities sector data table Financial Activities 129,700 128,700 1,000 0.8% 129,700 129,900 -200 -0.2% 128,300 128,400 128,300
go to Professional and Business Services sector data table Professional and Business Services 215,400 209,800 5,600 2.7% 215,400 216,900 -1,500 -0.7% 214,700 213,800 212,300
go to Educational and Health Services sector data table Educational and Health Services 329,700 321,100 8,600 2.7% 329,700 331,500 -1,800 -0.5% 328,700 327,600 327,100
go to Leisure and Hospitality sector data table Leisure and Hospitality 155,900 149,900 6,000 4.0% 155,900 156,800 -900 -0.6% 155,000 153,100 152,700
go to Other Services sector data table Other Services 63,300 62,600 700 1.1% 63,300 63,300 0 0.0% 63,000 62,900 63,200
go to Government sector data table Government 238,400 237,100 1,300 0.5% 238,400 238,600 -200 -0.1% 237,700 237,400 237,300
Graph Follow link below for more charts & data United States Employment
go to United States nonfarm employment data table United States Nonfarm Employment 141,126,000 137,830,000 3,296,000 2.4% 141,126,000 140,831,000 295,000 0.2% 140,592,000 140,263,000 139,840,000
 Labor Force / Residents Employed / Residents Unemployed Top
Based on the Local Area Unemployment Statistics model (a complex statistical model using residential survey data), the number of unemployed, seasonally adjusted, saw an increase of 1,744 (1.5%) over the month to 121,983 in February 2015. Notwithstanding, the number of unemployed residents has decreased by 9,583 (-7.3%) since February 2014. In February, Connecticut continued to see civilian labor force growth (5,368, 0.3%), despite the cold, for the seventeenth straight time since September 2013. Over the year, labor force growth is now 32,203 (1.7%, considered statistically significant, totaling 1,909,839) in the state.
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Labor
Force
Resident
Emp.
Resident
Unemp.
Labor
Force
Resident
Emp.
Resident
Unemp.
Labor
Force
Resident
Emp.
Resident
Unemp.
Labor
Force
Resident
Emp.
Resident
Unemp.
Labor
Force
Resident
Emp.
Resident
Unemp.
Labor
Force
Resident
Emp.
Resident
Unemp.
Labor
Force
Resident
Emp.
Resident
Unemp.
Jan   1,887.5 1,755.9 131.6 1,893.5 1,723.6 169.9 1,918.5 1,741.4 177.1 1,903.1 1,745.9 157.2 1,866.9 1,716.5 150.4 1,875.0 1,741.7 133.3 1,904.5 1,784.2 120.2
Feb   1,887.8 1,751.2 136.6 1,895.4 1,724.1 171.3 1,918.1 1,741.5 176.5 1,901.0 1,744.2 156.8 1,865.4 1,716.5 148.9 1,877.6 1,746.1 131.6 1,909.8 1,787.9 122.0
Mar   1,888.4 1,746.9 141.5 1,897.8 1,725.8 172.0 1,916.7 1,741.4 175.3 1,898.5 1,741.3 157.2 1,865.1 1,717.5 147.6 1,879.7 1,750.2 129.5
Apr   1,889.3 1,743.3 145.9 1,900.8 1,728.4 172.4 1,914.6 1,741.0 173.5 1,895.4 1,737.4 158.0 1,865.9 1,719.5 146.3 1,881.0 1,753.9 127.1
May   1,890.1 1,740.3 149.8 1,904.0 1,731.5 172.5 1,912.2 1,740.8 171.4 1,891.9 1,733.0 159.0 1,867.1 1,722.0 145.2 1,881.8 1,757.2 124.6
Jun   1,890.7 1,737.7 153.0 1,907.2 1,734.5 172.7 1,910.2 1,741.1 169.0 1,888.3 1,728.6 159.7 1,868.2 1,724.3 143.8 1,882.7 1,760.3 122.4
Jul   1,891.0 1,735.3 155.7 1,910.0 1,736.8 173.2 1,908.8 1,742.1 166.7 1,884.8 1,725.0 159.9 1,868.7 1,726.3 142.4 1,884.3 1,763.5 120.9
Aug   1,891.2 1,733.0 158.2 1,912.4 1,738.4 174.0 1,907.9 1,743.4 164.5 1,881.5 1,722.3 159.3 1,868.6 1,727.9 140.7 1,886.8 1,766.7 120.0
Sep   1,891.3 1,730.7 160.7 1,914.3 1,739.3 175.0 1,907.4 1,744.8 162.5 1,878.4 1,720.4 158.0 1,868.5 1,729.4 139.1 1,889.9 1,770.1 119.8
Oct   1,891.4 1,728.2 163.2 1,915.9 1,739.9 176.0 1,906.8 1,746.1 160.8 1,875.3 1,719.1 156.2 1,868.9 1,731.4 137.5 1,893.3 1,773.6 119.7
Nov   1,891.6 1,725.8 165.7 1,917.2 1,740.5 176.8 1,906.0 1,746.8 159.3 1,872.2 1,718.0 154.2 1,870.2 1,734.1 136.0 1,896.5 1,776.8 119.7
Dec   1,892.2 1,724.2 168.0 1,918.1 1,741.0 177.2 1,904.8 1,746.7 158.0 1,869.3 1,717.1 152.2 1,872.3 1,737.6 134.7 1,899.4 1,779.5 119.9
 State of Connecticut Unemployment Rate vs. United States Unemployment Rate Top
On a seasonally adjusted basis, Connecticut’s unemployment rate was calculated at 6.4% for February 2015. This is up a tenth of a percentage point from the January 2015 rate of 6.3%, but down six-tenths of a percentage point from the February 2014 figure of 7.0%. The US unemployment rate was 5.5% in February, down by two-tenths of a percent from January 2015 (5.7%) and lower by one and two-tenths of a percentage point from a year ago (6.7%).
  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons CT U.S. Year-to-Year comparisons
Jan  5.0 5.0 0.0 7.0 7.8 0.8 9.0 9.8 0.8 9.2 9.2 0.0 8.3 8.3 0.0 8.1 8.0 -0.1 7.1 6.6 -0.5 6.3 5.7 -0.6
Feb  5.0 4.9 -0.1 7.2 8.3 1.1 9.0 9.8 0.8 9.2 9.0 -0.2 8.3 8.3 0.0 8.0 7.7 -0.3 7.0 6.7 -0.3 6.4 5.5 -0.9
Mar  5.1 5.1 0.0 7.5 8.7 1.2 9.1 9.9 0.8 9.1 9.0 -0.1 8.3 8.2 -0.1 7.9 7.5 -0.4 6.9 6.6 -0.3
Apr  5.2 5.0 -0.2 7.7 9.0 1.3 9.1 9.9 0.8 9.1 9.1 0.0 8.3 8.2 -0.1 7.8 7.6 -0.2 6.8 6.2 -0.6
May  5.4 5.4 0.0 7.9 9.4 1.5 9.1 9.6 0.5 9.0 9.0 0.0 8.4 8.2 -0.2 7.8 7.5 -0.3 6.6 6.3 -0.3
Jun  5.5 5.6 0.1 8.1 9.5 1.4 9.1 9.4 0.3 8.8 9.1 0.3 8.5 8.2 -0.3 7.7 7.5 -0.2 6.5 6.1 -0.4
Jul  5.7 5.8 0.1 8.2 9.5 1.3 9.1 9.4 0.3 8.7 9.0 0.3 8.5 8.2 -0.3 7.6 7.3 -0.3 6.4 6.2 -0.2
Aug  5.9 6.1 0.2 8.4 9.6 1.2 9.1 9.5 0.4 8.6 9.0 0.4 8.5 8.0 -0.5 7.5 7.2 -0.3 6.4 6.1 -0.3
Sep  6.1 6.1 0.0 8.5 9.8 1.3 9.1 9.5 0.4 8.5 9.0 0.5 8.4 7.8 -0.6 7.4 7.2 -0.2 6.3 5.9 -0.4
Oct  6.3 6.5 0.2 8.6 10.0 1.4 9.2 9.4 0.2 8.4 8.8 0.4 8.3 7.8 -0.5 7.4 7.2 -0.2 6.3 5.7 -0.6
Nov  6.5 6.8 0.3 8.8 9.9 1.1 9.2 9.8 0.6 8.4 8.6 0.2 8.2 7.7 -0.5 7.3 7.0 -0.3 6.3 5.8 -0.5
Dec  6.7 7.3 0.6 8.9 9.9 1.0 9.2 9.3 0.1 8.3 8.5 0.2 8.1 7.9 -0.2 7.2 6.7 -0.5 6.3 5.6 -0.7

The nonfarm employment estimate, derived from a survey of businesses, is a measure of jobs in the state; the unemployment rate, based on a household survey, is a measure of the work status of people who live in Connecticut. Overall, as the national and state economies recover, volatility in monthly numbers can be expected. Additionally, changes in methodology that culminated in March 2011 with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics assuming complete responsibility for estimating all states’ monthly nonfarm job counts, have contributed to the month-to-month variability in the numbers. Jobs estimates are best understood in the context of their movement over several months rather than observed changes in a single month’s estimate.

Next Connecticut Labor Situation release: Monday, April 20, 2015 (March 2015 data)
Go to the State of Connecticut website